Plymouth's hot young weightlifter Ryan Baugh sets new record at British Students Championships
WEIGHTLIFTING wonder Ryan Baugh exceeded even his own high expectations with a fourth-placed finish at the British Universities and College's Championships.
Despite being the youngest out of all the competitors, Ivybridge Community College's Baugh was far from overawed by his peers at the tournament.
There was no upper age limit at the event, at Sheffield's Hallam University, so Baugh, who is not 16 until August, was at a clear disadvantage, lifting against physically more mature and experienced weightlifters in the 69kg body-weight category.
Baugh admits he did not expect to finish as high as fourth and was using the championships to gain experience, set a new personal best and a new national record.
Baugh (pictured above), discovered and coached by Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion, and former Ivybridge PE teacher, Michaela Breeze MBE, in fact, achieved all three of his goals.
Additionally, as a bonus, the likeable athlete's combined total of 211kg has qualified him for the European Youth (under-17) Championships later this year.
Baugh, who won his first England international cap earlier this year, said: "The championships are really tough. I did not expect to finish as high as I did.
"Fourth place among these guys is amazing. Although I've been doing well, I had no thoughts of coming just outside the medal places.
"The atmosphere was fantastic and as it was an open event, it meant I was up against people far more experienced than me and physically stronger.
"My coach (Breeze) said we'd give it a go and that's what I did. I'm really glad we did, as it has answered a lot of questions of just where I am at the moment."
Very, very good, possibly an A-plus, is Breeze's likely grade assessment of her prospect who is eyeing a place in next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Baugh had gone to South Yorkshire boasting previous best lifts of 88kg in the snatch and 115kg in the clean and jerk.
He went off like a train successfully lifting 90kg, then 93kg, before missing out on 96kg.
He then jerked 114kg, improved his PB by achieving 118kg and then only just failed to lift 121kg, which would have set a new British under-16 clean and jerk record.
Nevertheless, his combined total set a new U16 mark and has won him an invite to September's European Youth (under-17) Championships in Lithuania.